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Questions for Bryncoch South candidates

The following questions were put to all the candidates for the local election that took place on 3rd May 2012.   The answers from the two elected candidates appear below.

Now in 2017 judge for yourself as to what has been done.

1. A short cut pathway has been suggested from Fernlea Park to the Tesco Express shops at Waunceirch.   This would involve a 6ft wide piece of ground that is said to be owned by NPT Council.   Although it has been mentioned to the existing councillors, there seems to be no activity talking place by the Waterstones developers in view of the fact that such a pathway would benefit the privacy of their site.

QUESTION:   Would the candidates support this environmental suggestion and pursue the creation of the pathway - and (to the serving members) what action has been taken so far?


2.  Entertainment and community facilities are lacking in Neath town centre.

QUESTION:   What would the candidates do about the planning application to demolish the Neath Empire and what do they think should be done to use it in a way that would benefit the community?


3.  A Bryncoch South resident said she had to spend £500 on the suspension and springs of her car due the current speed humps, which are constucted in a way that motor cyclists have to swerve to avoid them?

QUESTION:   What would the candidates do to improve speed control measures in the area and to reduce the current hazzards?


4.  There are no toilets or changing rooms facilities available at the Waunceirch playing fields?

QUESTION:  How do the candidates feel about this - and what can be done to improve matters?


5.  QUESTION: Bearing in mind the open plan nature of the neighbourhood, should the Waterstone Developers have been allowed to build a brick built boundary wall on their Waunceirch site?   Can this be considered an open invitation for other residents to do the same?


6. QUESTION:   What can be done to encourage a business to occupy the empty unit at the Waunceirch shopping centre?   It is now three years since it was built.


7.  The new Waterstones housing development affords no privacy to the junior school opposite.

QUESTION:  What can be done to rectify this and give parents piece of mind?


8.   There has been a large increase in the number of houses built since housing developments started around 1993 - but no postal collection boxes have been added to the area.   It is acknowledged that the most suitable locations are near shops, schools and community centres.   

QUESTION:  Would the candidates support a postal collection box inside the Tesco Express Store - because of security and the long opening hours?

What would they do to get this done?


9.  It is important for residents to have feedback from councillors and to ask questions about developments.

QUESTION:   If elected, would the candidates hold monthly surgery/forum meetings at Waunceirch Commuity centre - and do they think that Blaenhonddan community council should charge them for the hire of the hall to provide this community service?


10.  QUESTION:   Although it may be a matter for the community council, do the candidates think that broadband should be provided at council community centres to benefit hirers and residents?


11.  QUESTION:    What would each candidate do (if and when elected) to make Bryncoch South the most outstanding ward in the area covered by the NPT Council?


12.  QUESTION:   Taking into consideration all the questions asked (including those stated above) what would each candidate consider to be most important item - and what do they consider as priorities?


The above questions have been posted to each candidate.

Their answers can be compared - if they respond.   In the unlikely event of any candidate ignoring the questions you can form your own conclusion.

The editorial team of this website consider that answering these questions is an alternative to holding a forum.   The answers will remain in view for you to ponder over and digest in the days leading up to the election.


Answers given by Cllr. Rob James:-

A website recently posted questions that they wished Bryncoch South candidates to answer. Here are my answers...

1. A short cut pathway has been suggested from Fernlea Park to the Tesco Express shops at Waunceirch.   This would involve a 6ft wide piece of ground that is said to be owned by NPT Council. Although it has been mentioned to the existing councillors, there seems to be no activity taking place by the Waterstones developers in view of the fact that such a pathway would benefit the privacy of their site.
QUESTION:   Would the candidates support this environmental suggestion and pursue the creation of the pathway - and (to the serving members) what action has been taken so far?
ANSWER: I would support any alterations to pathways that benefited the needs of the community. Specific pathways would have to meet certain criteria, such as Safe Routes to Schools, yet if there are no issues with the creation of the pathway and it is the will of the community, then I would ensure the pathway be created.

2. Entertainment and community facilities are lacking in Neath town centre.
QUESTION: What would the candidates do about the planning application to demolish the Neath Empire and what do they think should be done to use it in a way that would benefit the community?
ANSWER: Community facilities are lacking not only in the Town Centre, but also in the area that we are wishing to represent. My first priority would be to ensure that there are community facilities on people's doorsteps, rather than centralise much-needed facilities in the Neath Town Centre. Wouldn't residents in Bryncoch South rather facilities for the younger generation in Waunceirch, Bryncoch and Caewern then being placed in the middle of the Town Centre, with issues of transportation and traffic. When approaching my decision on planning applications, I will look at the needs of the local community, the needs of the whole of Neath (including the Valleys) and the longevity and feasibility of the business idea.

3. A Bryncoch South resident said she had to spend £500 on the suspension and springs of her car due the current speed humps, which are constructed in a way that motor cyclists have to swerve to avoid them?
QUESTION: What would the candidates do to improve speed control measures in the area and to reduce the current hazards?
ANSWER: Set out in my manifesto, is a commitment to launch a consultation on the current speed control measures after the election. After talking to a resident regarding the speed control measures, I wrote a letter to the council and their response was to send a mobile speed camera up to us. This is not the answer we was looking for. The ward needs a consultation looking at all the speed restrictions, as around 6 speed bumps to get from Dwr-y-Felin Road to the new estate in Waunceirch may be over-kill.

4. There are no toilets or changing rooms facilities available at the Waunceirch playing fields?
QUESTION: How do the candidates feel about this - and what can be done to improve matters?
ANSWER: Set out in my manifesto, is a commitment to improving the facilities in Waunceirch playing fields. This includes the introduction of changing facilities in the vacinity.

5. QUESTION: Bearing in mind the open plan nature of the neighbourhood, should the Waterstone Developers have been allowed to build a brick built boundary wall on their Waunceirch site? Can this be considered an open invitation for other residents to do the same?
ANSWER: I cannot comment on the planning permission of buildings that the current councillors have allowed to be passed whilst in office. If elected, I would ensure all planning permission fitted the needs of the community.

6. QUESTION: What can be done to encourage a business to occupy the empty unit at the Waunceirch shopping centre? It is now three years since it was built.
ANSWER: There are many ways to encourage businesses seek to 'set up shop' in the community. I believe the time has called for local councillors to be brave enough to contact the desired companies themselves, and worked out a package to ensure Neath Town Centre and Waunceirch have the shops needed in that area. We need to stop relying on businesses to approach us, rather we need to be bold in attempting to attract the right sort of businesses.

7. The new Waterstones housing development affords no privacy to the junior school opposite.
QUESTION: What can be done to rectify this and give parents piece of mind?
ANSWER: If elected, I would work with parents and residents to ensure a sensible solution is reached.

8. There has been a large increase in the number of houses built since housing developments started around 1993 - but no postal collection boxes have been added to the area. It is acknowledged that the most suitable locations are near shops, schools and community centres.
QUESTION: Would the candidates support a postal collection box inside the Tesco Express Store - because of security and the long opening hours? What would they do to get this done?
ANSWER As you know I work for Tescos, and I am currently speaking to the needed individuals regarding this matter. I am confident that after the election we will get a final decision on this idea, as the only barrier appears to be insurance at the moment.

9. It is important for residents to have feedback from councillors and to ask questions about developments.
QUESTION: If elected, would the candidates hold monthly surgery/forum meetings at Waunceirch Community centre - and do they think that Blaenhonddan community council should charge them for the hire of the hall to provide this community service?
ANSWER: I will not hold monthly meetings in Waunceirch Community Centre. Instead I will be holding street surgeries, as set out in my manifesto, that would be conducted on a fortnightly basis. I believe it is better to be out in the community, serving the people, rather than holding surgeries in community centres with poor turnout.

10. QUESTION: Although it may be a matter for the community council, do the candidates think that broadband should be provided at council community centres to benefit hirers and residents?
ANSWER: I strongly support the idea of introducing fast broadband connections in our local community centres, anything I can do to encourage BCC to take up this idea will be done.

11. QUESTION: What would each candidate do (if and when elected) to make Bryncoch South the most outstanding ward in the area covered by the NPT Council?
ANSWER: For such an important question, please refer to our entire manifesto. The manifesto is the most comprehensive document ever to be used in a local election campaign in Neath, from any of the political parties.

12. QUESTION: Taking into consideration all the questions asked (including those stated above) what would each candidate consider to be most important item - and what do they consider as priorities?
ANSWER: Our priorities for the next term are improving facilities for young people, improving the traffic situation and transport link that has occurred during Plaid Cymru's tenure, ensuring that Bryncoch South is environmentally strong, breathing confidence back in the ability of councillors to deliver for local residents and tackling local issues such as pavements, speed restrictions and dog fouling.


Answers given by Cllr. Janice Dudley:-

Q1 a short cut pathway has been suggested from Fernley Park to Tesco.

Any requests for paths ECT should be requested at the Outline Planning stage, as this was not requested Thirteen years ago this was before my time it now falls outside the red lined area and will need to go to Public Rights of way for approval. As we have plans for the Fields behind Tony and I decided to put it in to one project. And will be applied for at a later date.

Q2 what would the candidates do about the Planning application to demolish the Neath Empire.

Answer: As a member of Planning John Bryant and myself were the only two that went against the proposal to demolish the building on the grounds that *It was outside the Local development plan.      * Loss of our Heritage      *loss of facilities.

I am against the demolition and know that Tony is also, if Coastal Housing  would be in agreement they could have the application for demolition withdrawn.

There are plans to build another multiComplex facility near the Civic Centre, therefore watch this space?

Q3  what would the candidates do to improve speed control measures in the area and reduce the current hazard?

Answer  we have organised a mobile Police Vehicle to carry out speed checks in the ward to reduce speeding.

Although I have sympathised with the lady concerned, unfortunately  Tile Moys is an area where young children cross the road as a gate comes directly out on to the main Dwr y Felin Rd as no pavement exists. These were put there as the Neighbours reported several accidents.

We will be looking at speed cameras for the future at Dwr Y Felin Rd,as that road is very busy and the infrastructure not adequate, I can assure you the safety of our residents are paramount.

Q4 There are no toilet or changing rooms at Waunceirch Playing Fields, What can be done and how would you change matters.

Answer:  A few years ago I approached the Leader of the Council Derrick Vaughn to help, we were in the process of negotiating with Neath Athletic Club, unfortunately talks broke down at the last hurdle as they had another premises in Skewen.

I approached the Community Council who kindly allowed the Football Club to have a key of the Owain Glyndwr Community Centre in order to use the toilet facilities, this is still the case, we are hopeful for the future that we can gain funding to enable that facility to be built.

Q5Bearing in mind that the open plan nature of the neighbourhood  should the Waterstone development have been allowed to build a brick wall on the Waunceirch sight?

Answer  Planning Regulations have changed recently: The original plans show that the fronts of the houses were facing the school. They made an application to change the front of the houses  to the rear and part of the application was the wall for privacy. They do not allow all different types of fencing but it was passed as it was in keeping with the houses.

Q6 what can be done to encourage a business to occupy the empty unit at Waunceirch.

Answer:  When I approached previously I was told that the Developer has to request the Council Marketing department to market the unit, I await a reply to my second request, and if the developer does not wish that we then will look at what can be done.

Q7 The new Waterstone development affords no privacy to the Junior School, what can be done to rectify this?

Answer:  Although I understand your concerns, unfortunately in this day and age it is a major worry, but if you look at other schools in the area they have similar situations  some schools do not have a Road in between them, I have monitored the situation and have not received any complaints from Parents to date. As Governor of the school there has been no issues with this matter.

Q8  Would the Candidate support a postal box at Tesco.

Answer:  I have previously written and requested post boxes in Waunceirch the reply stated that it did not fit the criteria, as we had one in Cae Wern, as circumstances have now changed and Tesco has a following, I would be happy to reapply for a post box but would object to taking business away from a local Postmaster if the selling of stamps etc was part of the Tesco deal.

Q9: If re elected would you hold monthly Surgeries at Waunceirch Community Centre and do you believe that the Community Council should charge?

Answer  As previously stated I have held Monthly Surgeries for the past Eight years  and also carry out Annual Street Surgeries.

I used to use the Caewern Community Hall also but unfortunately due to the cost involved reduced it to one a month in stead of two.

The Labour Controlled Council has increased the rents by 20%. There will be a new Administration soon there for I wait to see.

Q10:  Does the Candidate think that Broad band should be provided at the Community Halls.

Answer: There will be a new Council after the 3rd May that is something a request could be made for, unfortunately if I state the way I feel on this I would have to declare an interest at the meeting.

Q11 What would each candidate do to make Bryncoch South the most outstanding ward in the area.

Answer:  Do as I have always done, put the Community above all else.   We live in a  beautiful area  and I am committed to ensuring our Green areas are kept green, in order that wildlife flourish for future generations and for our well being. We want a clean and well kept area to live in, this is up to us all to take our rubbish home and pick up our Dog mess for the safety of our Children and to make our lives stress free.

Community Spirit is something we strive fo,looking after one another, We must be a good example to the young.

Facilities for the young is a priority, Parks and youth clubs need money spending on them to keep our children safe off our streets. We hope that our leisure facilities will improve dramatically, this will only happen through dedicated Councillors.

We have many elderly in our ward and Transport is vital to their every day needs we will continue to visit the elderly as we have

In the past we have been working on projects that we need to finish, therefore give us the opportunity to get funding to finish the work in hand and in Five Years time I hope you will say that Yes, it was right to re elect Janice and Tony.

Q12:  What do you think is the most important item on the list.

Answer: Question Eleven, as it has our hopes and aspirations for the future. We know what is realistic we have the experience and the know how, we do not give false promises, please support us on May 3rd.


 

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